I was asked this week to participate in a BLOG HOP, which according to those in the know is a game of tag between friends. My friends all happen to be writers. We spend our lives in front of a computer screen, our minds whirling with thoughts and plots, and our poor fingers trying to keep up.
I remember when I was a kid and we played tag, I was always IT. Why was I always it? I suppose it was because I was the slowest runner and easiest to catch. I’m still like that today; slow. In this game of tag, I’m supposed to answer four questions, post it to my blog then tag two other writers to do the same. Let’s see, who can I outrun? Which other writers do I know that I might be able to catch? I think I’ll tag Gloria Teague and M. Carolyn Steele. They’re girls. Surely I can outrun a girl. I’ll find their websites and tag them at the bottom of this post so you can visit their sites and read what they are up to. If I know them, it will be something wonderful.
Now for the questions. I think I need coffee…
What am I working on?
For the last few months, I’ve been working on another psychological thriller. It’s a follow-up to my novel The Apostle Murders. Without giving away too much of the plot, there’s a serial killer traveling the country killing prostitutes in the most horrific ways, and there’s a team of investigators trying to figure out who he is before he can kill again. When they discover his identity, they realize he’s been dead for many years and that he’s linked to highest levels of our government and he’s untouchable. It’s a good one. I think you’re going to like it.
I’m also working on my Galactic Axia sci/fi series. At present, I have 5 books of the series published and am expecting the sixth (The Wounded Warrior) to release any day now. I’ve been amazed at the success this series is having. The first book, Escape to Destiny, published the first time in 2007, followed by four other books. They just sat on the shelf and didn’t move. Now sci/fi is hot and the books are selling like crazy. The first four books of the series hit the Kindle best-seller list on March 10, 2014 and have been there ever since. At one point, all four of them were in the top 10 best-selling kindles on Amazon. The Wounded Warrior will excite readers of the Galactic Axia series and I’m confident it will be a best-seller too.
The third thing I’m working on is a cowboy story I plan to submit as part of an anthology. I don’t think I’ve got a whole western in me. Once I figure out when end of the horse whinnies and how to Velcro the saddle on, it should fly right off my keyboard in no time.
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
As for the Galactic Axia series, it’s not ordinary sci/fi. When most people think of sci/fi they think silicone-based oozy little green guys or gray aliens in UFOs abducting people for scientific experiments. Not me. When I look at the stars, I tend to believe there’s life out there more like ourselves than anything else. I’m not saying humans are the only life creation in the universe. I’m just saying that we came from somewhere. Why not out there? And if so, might not our galactic ancestors still be out there? They might even still come to visit us from time to time. Fortunately, unlike some in-laws, they know when to go home.
Galactic Axia is based on a common-wealth of planets spread throughout the Milky Way Galaxy and is comprised of human beings scattered among the stars. It is governed by a royal family, and held together by a common constitution. The military branch of the Axia, known as Troopers, protect the Axia with fleets of powerful spaceships. The main character is a young man named Delmar Eagleman. He is an orphan from the planet Erdinata. He must escape the abuse of his guardian brother and find his destiny among the stars, hence the first book of the series, Escape to Destiny. The other books either follow his story or stand alone on a common timeline. They are clean and wholesome, no profanity or sex scenes. Good reading for all ages.
The Apostle Murders is different because it looks into the mind of a minister that has spent his entire life serving God. But after years of ministry, he sees the church shift from the old-timey traditions to a more modern paradigm of contemporary worship. In a deranged state, he believes God calls him to restore order to the church by recreating the martyrdom of the original apostles of Jesus Christ. So while he’s preaching on the weekend, he’s a serial killer during the week. A team of mismatched FBI agents are assigned to catch him before he can kill again. The book is loaded with tons of church insights, the murders are historically accurate in that ever murder is committed exactly as the original apostles died, and you as the reader will come to empathize with the killer, not just the victims.
I also have a delightful children’s book on the market called Strangers in the Stable. It is a look at the nativity as seen from the viewpoint of the animals in the stable the night Jesus was born. It is beautifully illustrated in 3D color graphics. Your kids would treasure it.
Why do I write what I do?
I think I answered some of this question in an earlier paragraph, but I’ll try to be more concise here. I write about outer space because I really believe we are not alone in the universe. I write about murder because the criminal mind intrigues me. I write children’s books because I have grandchildren, which are always a mystery to me. I have no idea why I’m doing a western.
How does my writing process work?
When I’m really in the groove and have a story well thought out and I know where I’m going, I get up early, fix myself a cup of coffee, and start banging on my keyboard. The plot thickens and the storyline flows. Other times, I sit on the back porch or in my truck with a yellow legal pad and try to scratch out something that makes sense. When I first started writing, I always did it long-hand on the legal pad. I couldn’t always read my handwriting afterward, but it worked for me. Still does on occasion. I’ve been trying more recently to write using my laptop. I just hate laptop keyboards, don’t you? So I usually end up attaching an external 19 inch monitor and sitting at the table with it, which makes no sense at all but I do it anyway.
I am a notorious editor, which means I have the tendency to edit as I write. I know most writers say to get it down on paper first and edit later. I agree that’s the way to do it. I just can’t stand to read over what I’ve written and see something that could have been said better and leave it for later. When I finish a chapter, I tend to go over it again and again and again until I get it right before moving on to the next chapter. This really slows down the writing process, which is why it takes me months to do a book instead of weeks, but that’s my process.
Well, this blog has turned into a journal, so I’ll stop here (proofread and edit it over and over again, then edit it again) and tag Gloria Teague and M. Carolyn Steele. After all, why should they sleep in on a Saturday morning? I’m up when I should be sleeping late, so everyone else might as well rise and shine as well.